Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Under the Sea!

Consider the lobster. Juicy, white-fleshed king of the sea full of a briny, sweet meat conveniently concentrated in the tails and claws. No cumbersome cracking and picking like with crabs. No, this is the real deal. Regarded once upon a time as the poor man’s meal the lobster has since evolved into the menu item you look at and wonder if now is the time to open the wallet and splurge. Fortunately, for us lucky clubbers, tonight lobster would be on the menu—not once, but twice. All we had to do was get the chef drunk.

Here’s what was in store:

-Lobster Bisque w/crème fraiche & chives.

-Broiled Shrimp with avocado & tomato salad.

-Lobster & Ricotta Ravioli in a light cream sauce.

-Caramel Pears Belle Helene.

The first course was the robust Lobster Bisque, served with a homemade crème fraiche. As soon as I entered the kitchen, I was eyeing Jason’s progress at the stove-top. The color of his bisque looked like a sunset over the Gulf of Mexico; a deep, rich, burnt sienna. We all expect great things from Jason but none of us were prepared for the incredible burst of flavor in that bisque. It was simply the best lobster bisque I have ever had the pleasure to eat. Jason mentioned putting this recipe online. If he ever gets around to it my advice is to precisely follow every step. As if the delectable, smooth broth wasn’t enough, like a Christmas gift hidden behind the couch, we were all deleted to discover sweet chunks of lobster resting at the bottom of our bowls. I would kill a hobo for more of this soup.

Next up was a garlic shrimp salad over an avocado and tomato salsa. I was worried about the rather bland looking tomatoes that Teddy was helping to cut (Heirloom tomato season is upon us, after all) but the aroma of garlic wafting through the apartment overtook any parts of my brain that might complain. The shrimp were perfectly cooked with just the right amount of give when you bit down. And as we made our way through these pink prawns the garlic oil seeped into the salad flavoring every bite.

For the lobster ravioli Jason took the preferred shortcut of using wonton wrappers instead of wasting hours by rolling his own pasta. A wise decision. Who wants to clean up a kitchen full of flour dust? The ravioli were cooked perfectly and not waterlogged in the least (a problem I’m told can occur when you don’t properly push all of the air out of your wonton wrapper). The delicate lobster and ricotta blend inside was a light lump of mouth-watering goodness. I wolfed mine down in half the time it took Teddy and Adam to finish theirs and then helped myself to a few of Jason’s since he eats like a bird. The cream sauce on top would have made any chef proud: Delicious in its simplicity.

Finally—the mystery dessert. What exactly is a Pears Belle Helene we wondered? And then it arrived. Orbs of brown, poached, peary delight surrounded by a homemade caramel and (store bought) vanilla ice-cream. As the ice cream melted it mixed with the caramel and pear flavor so well that the Helene in the title made me think of Helen (of Troy) because I would fight armies to taste that concoction again.

You know it’s a good meal when, by the end, we all spent so much time eating that we neglected our imbibing. A problem whose solution we easily remedied by crawling around the Lower East Side drinking sake bombs and booze for the next five hours. Good show!


Adams said...

Well put Mike. I'd push Teddy down the stairs for some more of that bisque....or maybe just to see the expression on his face when he was at the bottom of the stairs. Either way, it was really good bisque

teddy said...

Well I'd like to see the expression on your face when I've finished turning your boatrace into an ashtray. Eh?

Jason said...

Calm down boys. I've got more bisque down me trousers!

pinknest said...

i want orbs of brown, poached peary delight!!!

doggybloggy said...

I want this bisque so bad now....and sake bombs and poached orbs.....

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